The year is 750 BC.
The economy is humming along like never before.
Israel is having its best days since the reigns of David and Solomon.
The future is so bright, they are trying to invent sunglasses (Sam Foster finally invented them, in San Francisco of all places, in 1929 AD).
But then a lowly shepherd from the hills of Tekoa – located in Judah of all places – emerges to preach messages of warning and repentance to the Israelites in the midst of their bliss. And although this shepherd – Amos is his name – has been anointed by God for this mission, the words he shares fall on deaf ears.
No one likes to be called a hypocrite. A hypocrite is one who wears a mask in order to deceive and manipulate others, including God. But the Israelites, in all their success and glory, had fallen prey to this most heinous of sins. Their worship of the One True God was not just empty, it was worse. It was a worship that mocked and attempted to manipulate God.
Amos calls out God’s people as posers. Yet even then, he ends with a message of hope. God’s covenant with His people will live forever. But the privilege of being His people comes with responsibility.
This is a lesson that is worthy of attention not just in 750 BC, but in 2018 AD.
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